Are you ready to kick your cardio, weight loss, and fat burning into high gear? Want to find a sneaky way to boost your metabolism with just a few minutes of hard work every day? If so, you definitely need HIIT!
What is HIIT?
HIIT stands for high intensity interval training, a form of exercise that combines low and high intensity cardio done in intervals.
An example of HIIT training would be:
- Running/jogging for 2 minutes
- Sprinting for 30 seconds
- Cycling at a moderate pace for 4 minutes
- Cycling at full speed and standing up for 60 seconds
Both of these High Intensity Interval Training workouts involve both a low-intensity interval followed by a high intensity interval. That is the epitome of what HIIT is, and you’ll find that working out this way is one of the most effective ways to get in shape!
HIIT vs. Steady State Cardio
When most people think of “cardio”, they think of jogging, cycling, or using the elliptical machine.
Your typical steady state cardio workout involves low intensity cardio for 30 to 60 minutes, during which time you burn about 600 calories per hour. The low intensity exercise causes your body to burn fat as well as glucose, leading to a reduction in body fat.
However, let’s turn things up a notch and add some high intensity intervals in there. You still get the benefits of low intensity exercise, but when you speed up for your high intensity interval, you:
- Trigger your metabolism–leading to more calories burned overall.
- Force your body to burn the energy stored in your muscles–meaning more concentrated fat burning during the low intensity intervals.
- Build lean muscle tissue–increasing your muscle mass almost as effectively as a leg workout.
With HIIT, you get the benefits of steady state cardio, but with the benefits of high intensity exercise thrown in!
Benefits of HIIT
Here are some of the best things about HIITing it in your workouts:
- Keep your body burning calories for up to 2 hours after your workout.
- Burn more calories in less time.
- Optimise your muscle building and prevent muscle loss during fat burning.
- Increase lung capacity and oxygen uptake.
Did You Know: Doing a 27-minute HIIT workout 3x per week yields the same results as 60 minutes of steady state cardio 5x per week!
How Can I incorporate HIIT Into my own Training?
Here are a few HIIT workouts you can try:
80/20 — For those who are new to fitness and working out, try this beginner-level HIIT workout. Walk for 2 minutes, and sprint for 30 seconds. Repeat this cycle for 20 minutes.
Tabata Workout — After warming up, sprint for 20 seconds and walk for 10. Perform this cycle 8 times for a short, effective workout. Only for those in good shape!
Turbulence Training — Combine cardio with your strength training for MAXIMUM efficiency. Perform a single 8-rep set, and follow it up with 60 seconds of mountain climbers. Complete your full-body workout routine in 45 minutes.
Talk about high intensity! Kicking your workouts up a notch will help you see serious progress for your efforts–both in terms of muscle building and fat burning.